The first season of Luke Cage is pretty good. We should start there. All of Netflix’s Marvel shows have been pretty good, really, so I suppose that’s not a huge surprise. Mike Colter is great as Luke, and Simone Missick is great as Misty Knight, and there’s a cool-ass raid scene set to “Bring Da Ruckus” by Wu-Tang Clan, so any complaints I have about the series should be considered minimal. It’s not even the point I’m trying to make here. The point is that, man, all the people on Luke Cage — and in Netflix’s other Marvel series, Daredevil and Jessica Jones, for that matter — seem really chill about the stuff that happened at the end of The Avengers, right? Like, probably too chill.
Because let’s be clear about what happened there: A huge chunk of Manhattan was leveled after an evil god ripped a hole in space and summoned an alien army whose forces included a giant airborne metal dragon, and he would have taken over the world if not for the heroic efforts of a team that consisted of a billionaire in a robot suit, a giant green monster, a time-traveling super-powered WWII soldier, a good archery guy, a Russian spy, and a second god who a) is the brother of the evil one, and b) possesses a magical space hammer. And while the civilian casualties were probably limited, the economic damage alone would have been staggering. From the Hollywood Reporter:
In an exclusive report for THR, KAC, led by Chuck Watson and Sara Jupin, employed computer models used for predicting the destruction of nuclear weapons and concluded that the physical damage of the invasion would be $60 billion-$70 billion, with economic and cleanup costs hitting $90 billion. Add on the loss of thousands of lives, and KAC puts the overall price tag at $160 billion.
For context, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks cost $83 billion, Hurricane Katrina cost $90 billion, and the tsunami in Japan last year washed away $122 billion.
It is admittedly a little dicey to travel down the realism path on a show and in a universe where mutated heroes battle mutated villains (the latter of whom are occasionally red faced Nazis), but still. The attack on New York at the end of The Avengers was basically two 9/11s, from a property damage standpoint, but with aliens and a blimp-sized flying steel lizards. That seems like a big deal! You’d think it would come up more often than once every few episodes, when a hustling teen is trying hawk cell phone footage of it on the sidewalk, referring to it only as “The Attack” or “The Incident.”